Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mt Talbert Nature Park Disallows Dogs

   Just a quick note to any of you Oregonians living near Mt Talbert Nature Park and enjoy the park as I do, will find it somewhat disheartening that this park is now a dog free zone. They no longer allow dogs at Mt Talbert Nature Park.  I really used to enjoy taking our Boxer dog “ Scout “ for hikes in this park. I can reach the park in about a five-minute drive from our home, and it really seems as though you are in the deep forest many miles from home when hiking under the tree canopy in this park; I still enjoy this park but will miss bringing my Boxer.

   It seems that this is the way of the future for most state and national parks, to really limit dogs. I am planning to visit some national parks in California this year and in my research have found that dogs are really discouraged for many reasons. Destroying plant-life attracting predators and creating a nuisance is among the top reasons. If you plan on taking your dog on an outing most of the trails in the Columbia River Gorge are still dog friendly to my knowledge. National Forests and Dog Parks are good options as well.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shedding Doesn’t Have To be A Problem

    There are many hypoallergenic and non-shedding dog breeds to choose from, the Boxer Dog is not one of them. Boxers do shed,  however it is not nearly as big of an issue as with a longhaired breed. Boxer Dogs are considered medium shedders and generally only shed a couple of times a year, although you will find hair falling out at all times it just is very minimal. Boxers don’t really have a thick undercoat like cold weather breeds like Malamutes or Retrievers. Diet is a huge factor in how much your pet will shed. I once tried Costco food with our Boxer and hair fell out in clumps. Good dog food contains polymers and good oils like Omega 3 which really help control hair loss. It is good to note that while all dogs will shed their coats to some degree, coat loss (alopeciais another matter and not a natural occurrence.

   The Boxer Dog requires very little grooming from its owner just an occasional bath and brushing, I also brush his teeth and cut his nails once a month. If you want to keep hair in your home and on the furniture to a minimum I suggest a good brushing once a week. I have found the greatest tool for brushing and extracting dead fur from your Boxers coat. The Furminator Brush is fantastic. It seems as though the hair will never stop coming out while brushing with the Furminator it works that well. After I have brushed our Boxer “ Scout “ for just about 3 minutes I notice a huge improvement on the amount of hair that falls on our clothing and couch. The Furminator has a patented blade technology; it is sharp but never hurts your Boxer Dog. The deluxe model is 4” wide and comes with a hair extractor on the blade that operates with a simple flick of the thumb. The Furminator De-shedding tool is awesome and I highly recommend it. Although this brush is not cheap I think it is well worth the price for a tool that will last for the life of your pet and does the job it ‘s intended for.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Cropped Ear Debate

   Whether or not to crop a Boxer Dogs ears invokes some strong emotions and always has carried with it some controversy. Cropping a Boxers ears goes way back to the early years when this breed was established. One of the reasons of cropping ears on dogs that hunt or fight is to give their opponent less to grab on to during an altercation. Some people also argue that by cropping the ears it will help deter ear mites and prevent having a moist ear canal, this has not been proven however. Breeders today generally still crop the ears and dock tails in an effort to maintain the breed standard. Ear cropping meets with the most scrutiny here in the United States; many believe it is unnecessary and puts the Boxer through much pain and discomfort.

   The process of cropping a Boxer Dogs ears involve surgery on a very young pup and subsequent visits to a veterinary surgeon. A period of 3 weeks is usually prescribed were the breeder or owner will administer disinfectants to the incision marks on the dogs ears. The Boxer will certainly go through considerable discomfort during this period and must wear a cone to protect itself from getting at the surgically altered ears. Unless you plan on showing your Boxer I certainly don’t see the need to have a Boxers ears cropped. In fact I find the look of floppy ears on a Boxer Dog quite cute, although they almost look like a different breed.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Boxer Dog Obstacle Course

 Boxer Dogs are an extremely active breed and to that end need plenty of exercise and human interaction. Boxer Dogs also are known to excel in dog training making a very well behaved and disciplined pet. Some Boxer Dog owners simply can’t get out as much as their pet would require. Maybe there is a physical limitation that prevents the owners from hiking with their pet.  Whatever the reason, I have a great solution for those of you that have yards.
Have you ever considered building or hiring a contractor to build a Boxer dog obstacle or agility course? Boxer Dogs compete in various competitions throughout the world and use such obstacle courses. A dog obstacle course keeps your Boxer healthy, happy and fit.

   Building your obstacle course doesn’t require a lot of carpentry skill. Have fun and get creative. Using old tires, cinderblocks, hula-hoops, scrap-wood, tarps and barrels to name just a few items. Use your imagination and make areas for your Boxer Dog to jump or climb a ramp that teeters then walks through a water obstacle. Try hanging an old Hoola-Hoops by some thin cordage at varying heights in succession. You could also make a jumping wall out of old scrap-wood very similar to that of a Steeplechase in equestrian events. How about weave poles like football players use? You can also add a tire jump with old tires. PVC or CVC pipe make an excellent material in the construction of jump stands. Boxers don’t like dark tunnels, I can’t even get my Boxer to go into a doghouse. When making a tube or tunnel it needs to be light or clear using fabric and not black corrugated waste pipe.

   If you want to spend the money there are online sites that sell pre-made kits that will assemble for an obstacle course. I don’t see spending the money at least until you work with your Boxer Dog on a homemade course. When introducing you Boxer to the course for the first time it may be a bit frustrating. Just because you have built your Boxer a course they often will be resistant in participation. My Boxer “ Scout “ respond very well for treats of almost any kind. You will need to walk your Boxer through the course several times with an enthusiastic load voice coaxing your pet with treats. After repeated practice runs your Boxer will learn to know what all those contraptions are for and he/she will come to look forward to and thrive on the obstacle course you have built.